Singaporean singer/songwriter Linying reckons with deep questions and personal demons in her debut album ‘There Could Be Wreckage Here’, a stirringly soft and (bitter)sweet record of acceptance, vulnerability, intimacy, and honesty.
Stream: “Faith” – Linying
The record is about seeing the good thing, seeing its end, and walking through it anyway.
Love can utterly decimate you: The best things in the world can take you to your highest highs, but they will also bring you down to your lowest of lows. What do we do with that information? How do we reconcile the knowledge that in everything “good,” there is (and may always be) ultimately something bad lurking around the corner? When joy means sadness, beauty means pain, and love means heartbreak, can we soldier on and live a happy life?
Singaporean singer/songwriter Linying reckons with these questions and more personal demons in her debut album There Could Be Wreckage Here, a stirringly soft and (bitter)sweet record of acceptance, vulnerability, intimacy, and honesty.
I’m still lost like, star crossed, tongue-tied
Grown apart, it’s been hard on me
Something holy gently told me
I can be free, just gotta be a little bit blind
So I don’t look too hard
I just play my part and see
What happy looks like on my knees
If it comes to me
I want a little faith in me
Released January 14, 2022 via Nettwerk Music Group / Universal Music Group Singapore, There Could Be Wreckage Here is as beautiful as it is devastating. Linying’s first body of work since 2016’s debut EP Paris 12 finds the Singaporean artist rising and falling in elegant waves of passion and pain as she unveils her innermost insecurities, dreams, hardships, and desires – all beneath a wondrous backdrop of soothing, cathartic, jazz-tinged indie R&B. Forever warm and welcoming, lush and lilting, There Could Be Wreckage Here invites all to dwell in our own depths of mind and heart as Linying bares her soul in eight songs. It’s a journey of self-growth, healing, and learning to live with all the things outside of our control.
“Really simply put, There Could Be Wreckage Here details my bad habit of seeing every good thing through the lens of its end,” Linying tells Atwood Magazine. “This habit makes me talk myself out of feeling optimistic, chokes my happiness at its greatest, and makes every enjoyable moment suddenly melancholic once I remember that all things go, eventually. The record is about seeing the good thing, seeing its end, and walking through it anyway. I didn’t have much of a vision for it. As is often the case with me, the feeling always takes precedence, and at the time of writing the songs on this record, I had all these feelings of skepticism, hope, fear, and faith that I really needed to articulate, and this was what came of it.”
You know the look in my eyes when there’s an uprising in my head…
Linying holds nothing back in this debut, providing what feels like a fully articulated and authentic version of herself throughout.
“[Music is] really just my therapy,” she explains. “A way for true-me to tell surface-me what I’m really feeling. I don’t always know or want to come to terms with these latent personal truths, and when I ignore them for too long is when I feel an intense urge to purge, and this is when the writing happens. Afterwards I look back at my lyrics, analyze my own metaphors, and think, ‘so this is what’s really going on.’“
`”Keeping that organic nature in mind, Linying says she tries hard not to focus too deeply about her “artistry,” or how this album “introduces” her. “I really try not to think too much about how my work shapes other peoples’ perceptions of me as an artist… I feel like once I start going there, it’s my natural instinct to grow self-conscious, and I really don’t want that polluting my songs. My work is so intrinsically tied to who I am, and it’s my most precious outlet to make sense of the world around me, so I suppose however people see the bearing it has to me as a person, it’s probably accurate. As for how it captures my artistry… it probably showcases my melodic tendencies, my method-acting way of singing by trying to relive the moment in the vocal booth, my roundabout way of writing.”
Understanding There Could Be Wreckage Here starts with appreciating its title, which comes from the first line of the opening song, “This Time, Tomorrow.” According to the artist, this song is “about my characteristic urge to walk into the tornado, despite already knowing how bad the damage can be. The entire album chronicles my journey to accepting this, accepting the risk, and trying really hard to be brave about it, so I thought this was an apt line to sum it up.”
There could be wreckage here
If they’re in the sun
Storms in the atmosphere
And I’ll be the one
To be on my feet running down the street
Yelling and happiest like this
This time it’s catastrophe
And, oh, when you know
Soon now know the gravity
And then I’ll come home
And all of the comets and what’s left on my [?] and shake up [?]
I’ve got that damage
Used to cause a commotion to know
If I’m supposed to be on my own
I get up and get on the phone
Call every friend that I know
Just to feel mercy
Just to feel grace
Just to feel worthy
But then these days I’m bored
I know better
I’ve seen blue moons in dreams
I’ve watched good men grow tender
I’ll go this time tomorrow
This time tomorrow
Highlights abound on a record with such deeply intimate and personal significance. Between opener “This Time, Tomorrow” and finale “Daylight Blows into One Door,” tracks like “Faith” and “3 Hours On” offer cathartic contemplation, whilst “Shhh” featuring MILCK is a soothing balm for the ears and soul alike. The empowering, soulful “Good Behaviour” is both a musical peak, as well as the climax of Linying’s emotional growth: A song that says (in more poetic turns of phrase), “It’s okay to not be okay.”
It’s her favorite song as well. “I’ve made my bias really clear all over my social media, and also probably all over this interview,” she laughs. “‘Good Behaviour’ is my favourite song. I can’t believe I have a happy song – there are so few songs that are truly about happiness. ‘God Only Knows,’ Beach Boys, ‘First Day Of My Life,’ Bright Eyes… there really aren’t many. Art is our friend when we’re sad and distraught, but in order to use that precious time spent being happy to write about it? You must be overflowing with a bountiful supply. I’m just glad I was ever privileged enough to experience that.”
As a lyrically forward artist, she cites a line from the same song as her lyrical pride and joy. “Everybody love my good behaviour / Everybody love me softer, sweeter / But you don’t really ask for either / You only ask that I believe ya.” They are the most grammatically incorrect lyrics I have ever written, and it’s for that reason that I maintain that this song was not really created by me, but given to me by some great muse beyond me, flouting the confines of grammar and language. It’s dramatic but I swear, that’s what it is.”
Let me know if you’re receiving
A message in this mess as much as me
God behind my carelessness and
Heaven in the ways that you see me, ’cause
Everybody love my good behavior
Everybody love me softer, sweeter
And you don’t really ask for either
You only ask that I believe you
And I did, one minute I’m frightened to death
And the next I’m just dying to confess you
The wildest images gracing my mind, you and I (Would you believe it?)
Waltzing with bravado, yeah
The sunset sticking to our upper bodies
And the dizzy dive follows
And I, I know that it’s out of my habit
To be so emphatic
Sometimes it just happens, oh
So the moment you know
Just let me know
There Could Be Wreckage Here swoops low, but it swings just as high.
Linying’s debut album leaves us feeling refreshed, renewed, and reinvigorated. We may or may not learn something about ourselves along the way, but we’ll certainly take from this LP a sense of relief and freedom; a kind of emotional deliverance, a purging of the fears and insecurities in favor of embracing life for what it is head-on and wholeheartedly.
“I don’t know if I have great hopes for it, other than that it provides comfort, solace, and company to anyone who might need it when they’re going through something similar,” Linying shares. “It’s definitely given me clarity, self-knowledge, and an opportunity to memorialize some of the most emotionally interesting moments in my life.” Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Linying’s There Could Be Wreckage Here with Atwood Magazine as the artist goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of her debut album!
Stream: ‘There Could Be Wreckage Here’ – Linying
:: Inside There Could Be Wreckage Here ::
This Time, Tomorrow
– This Time Tomorrow is like my hopeless romantic’s anthem. I can’t help but walk straight into the tornado. There’s a bit of déjà vu too, like the same moment but on a different day… because I’ve done it before, and knowing how scary and painful loss and disappointment and death and heartbreak can be, I’m trying to find the courage to continue walking anyway.
Lovers Stay Right For Each Other
– In this song I mourn the death of my younger self, from whom so much generosity, optimism, hope and forgiveness has already been given away. I find myself wishing I hadn’t put my best self forth in the wrong things then, because now that the right things are here, I feel like I have nothing good left to give.
– I’ve always had trouble with predestination. I think we have so small a degree of agency and control over our circumstances, our lives, and ourselves, and so the notions of penance and salvation and consequence are really frustrating to me. I wrote Faith in a moment of discouragement, wishing I could have that kind of goodness and belief in me.
– Springtime was the first of all the songs on this record that I wrote, at my most apprehensive and most skeptical. Who doesn’t love a new beginning, a chance to reinvent themselves, to be reminded of a past version of themselves that they miss? It’s for this reason that I don’t trust the springtime.
Shhh (ft. MILCK)
– I wrote Shhh in a tender moment with Connie where we connected over the joy of feeling so at peace that things like comfort, confidence, generosity, and reassurance cannot help but overflow.
– I’m so proud of Good Behaviour — it’s my favourite song I’ve written to date. After struggling and fighting and going back and forth and grappling with control, in “Good Behaviour,” I finally surrender it. I finally start to believe that maybe a love exists in which I don’t have to be on my best behaviour all the time in order to be accepted. I finally give in, and it feels like heaven.
3 Hours On
– 3 Hours On is a song about watching the breakdown of a relationship so surely and steadily that all that’s left is resignation, and a desire to procrastinate the pain for as long as you possibly can.
Daylight Blows Into One Door
– I wrote this song with one of my musical heroes, Chris Walla, whose own songs about death and loss I listened to and loved when I was younger. Everything is so ephemeral, like daylight blowing into one door and quickly out of another, and it makes me sad to think about how short-lived every happiness I will ever encounter will be.
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📸 © Ronan Park
:: Stream Linying ::